Who am I? What is this? Top
I am just an Abathur player who's played a little over a thousand games with Abathur, and as a daoist, I make it a point to cultivate an understanding while I play, and to pass that knowledge on, because I see it as the meaning of life.
This guide is meant for more advanced Abathur players who are trying to better understand what Abathur does, and is not intended as an introduction to the character. As such, I won't be going over a lot of the basics, like what his abilities are, but I will explain talent choices and general strategy.
Abathur is versatile. Top
If your team needs damage, Abathur can be built to give your team damage. If your team needs heals, then you can be a healer (support). If your team lacks push, you can push like no one's business (be a specialist).
It's true that every hero should be built to the situation, but Abathur is extraordinary in that he can fit a dps role, a support role, can create a tank for the team, or be a pusher (specialist), while simultaneously gaining extra experience for the team.
What makes an Abathur player good? Top
In Heart of the Swarm
, there is a conversation that you can have with Kerrigan where she is asked where she found Abathur. She remarks that she was rounding up rogue zerg, and as she was rounding them up, they started putting up much more resistance than she had anticipated. It was a long time before she realized that there was an intelligence controlling them. Whenever she tried to close in on that intelligence, it would move, and continue to fight her with guerilla tactics. It was a very long time before she was able to finally pin him down, and seeing that he had done so well, she invited him to be a part of the swarm rather than killing him.
That is who Abathur is. You should always be in the shadows, hiding in a bush or a forwards position, preferably in an empty lane, letting your passive push the lane, and pushing it just enough that you are in experience range for the entire push. Just as your enemies notice and start to close in on you, you should have already noticed them and have moved to a different lane to do the same, wasting their effort. Abathur is an expert at wasting enemy time. By soaking the lane and wasting enemy time by distracting them, you can not only get ahead in levels, but also give your team more opportunities for picks by having them kill what ends up most often being a single person trying to hunt you down, or otherwise create incentives to not do mercenaries or capture secondary objectives.
As a rule, as an objective spawns, you want to be in the bush in the lane as far from the action as possible that is not mid and not occupied by an enemy. If an enemy is in the lane, you should move, because they will eventually notice your passive.
Likewise, you should always eliminate walls, because walls give the enemies an inkling of where your passive is coming from in the lane, and you should always push minion waves just enough that your minions have an advantage before you sit to soak. Otherwise, you could end up with enemy minions piling up in your bush and giving enemies vision of you.
The other major thing that good Abathurs will do over inferior Abathur players is to use their 3 mini-wards to push. This is an okay use of your w, but not an ideal one. You should be warding objectives and giving vision of mercenary camps for your team with them, or otherwise denying enemies the ability to gank by giving warning to your allies by warding bushes. Wards win games in every single MOBA other than HOTS, and it's still true in this game. By having vision, you can gain control. Without vision, you have no control.
The other major use of toxic nest is to deny objectives that have a channel. If you place a toxic nest underneath a hero that's trying to turn in, the time for arming the nest is just short enough that you can deny the turn in by causing them damage. This means you can give your team a ton of time to stop the turn in, and if they're any good, this denial is very strong.
The last thing that separates good Abathur players from bad Abathur players is a sense of timing. This is something that even I am still working on. Monstrosity is by far the better ultimate for Abathur, because it can single-handedly take a keep and gain your team a ton of experience and involve itself in team fights practically indefinitely. However, timing for Monstrosity is key. If you use it just "whenever", then it's going to be wasted. It goes back to Abathur doing guerrilla warfare.
You want the monstrosity to be gaining stacks and pushing while the enemy team is engaged in a team fight, and be at that team fight, so as not to put your team at a disadvantage. By letting monstrosity push a lane by itself, you can be at the team fight and provide your support. If you take ultimate evolution, it's like you're taking all the time you could be using your talents on symbiote and spending them without using symbiote at all.
If monstrosity arrives at an enemy fort or keep just as they finish a team fight, if your team wins, then you take the fort and can push with it actively. If monstrosity arrives and you lost the team fight, then the enemy team is forced to spend time dealing with it instead of taking advantage of their victory and getting secondary objectives. Making use of the extra push that Abathur can provide and his distractions is what makes Abathur good.
If your team is mostly tanks or supports: Top
If your team is mostly tanks or supports, then there are a few things that they want. First, they need damage, since that's what's going to win them fights by wearing out their opponents. And Abathur is very good at continuous damage since he doesn't have mana and has a free reset on all of his Symbiote cooldowns over the course of 3 seconds.
The best damage talent that you can take is
because most tanks have strong engage or disengage, and want to be very close to the action. The extra range and reduction in the cooldown usually let you get two pressurized glands off before it's more efficient for you to simply reset your cooldowns.
Surprisingly, this also gives you the best push out of any talent that you can take, so it still lets you push lanes if you want to.
is very good at increasing DPS, especially for characters who want the extra damage or auto-attacks, and it can create more opportunities for your team as well. For example, any hero that can take
gets an extra 25 percent more cooldown reduction, which can translate to more cc, and, thus, more opportunities.
directly benefits from extra auto attack speed, as well as ETC with his passive for cranking out more damage.
is the single most powerful ability you can take, since you are constantly needling.
is a good choice here because you want to be using your symbiote abilities, and it creates a distraction and push, and, later in the game, a strong dps carry that can be the difference between victory and defeat towards the end of the match.
On a team swollen with tanks, healers are hard-pressed to keep multiple tanks topped up.
helps them to keep tanks healed, while taking advantage of the extended range of
The other thing that most tanks have in common is the fact that they are melee characters. This is a balancing factor for them, and a big disadvantage. However, if the enemy is slowed, it negates a ranged target's advantage, and limits their escapes. As a result, if you have taken
, then taking
contributes a lot to not only creating opportunities for damage and chase, but also lets your tanks deal a lot more damage.
Since this is a symbiote-focused build, you can either take
. I find that
is better, because here we are working towards consistent damage. Having two people on your team outputting your damage at the same time can melt the enemy team, and I consistently deal the most damage in matches that go long on my team because of
If your team has strong poke: Top
On the other hand, what if your team is really good at dealing damage with pokes, or has strong positional heroes that want to poke, like Jaina or Falstead or Nova?
If your team has strong poke, you're better off building to give them a speed burst. This entire build is mostly focused on the utility and escapes of
and maximizing its effectiveness.
gives assassin-heavy teams the ability to trade favorably, since it gives assassins the ability to recover health lost after they have poked, so that they can out-range their opponents.
If you take
, especially in a supporting role where you are trying to take care of multiple assassins, it's ideal to be able to move between targets and keep healing or supporting them. If you don't take microbes, you have to stay on the same target for an extended period of time. If you do take microbes, you can use your burst, give the shield, and then move on, letting them heal, or ducking back in 3 seconds later to burst with your abilities again. This is more effective for teams with high amounts of poke, because you will want to be available for the person poking. If you aren't, then they will be more hard-pressed to poke. The extra shielding from the micro you can do here also gives the team significantly more effective health.
The damage output of
hurts to pass up. It's very good for poking and finishing off fleeing enemies, so it's best to take in this build.
Only when you are in the situation where you have a lot of squishy poking heroes is it worth taking Ultimate Evolution. This is because you can do two things.
Number one: Double the damage output of a hero with strong base abilities (which most poking heroes have), like Jaina (who is arguably the best hero there is for Abathur to copy).
Number two: To sac bunt for your allies so that they can escape. By copying someone who is low, you can create a situation where they are pretty much guaranteed to get away by threatening excessive damage from a full-health target. These escapes, which can occur about once a minute, save your team .75 of a hero worth of experience each time that it happens. The only trouble is, most people aren't smart enough to understand that you are saving them. This is the intended use of this ultimate, as evidenced by the level 20 talent that accentuates this style of play.
The only reason to pass up the powerful passive push of
is the health from
. Since we aren't making
important here, we're going for the passive push. Free catapults are strong.
is the whole reason that we're building this way.
is still trash. You're much better off taking
for the extra poke. It's a lot of poke still, as long as you've taken
If your team doesn't have a support: Top
This build only differs from the previous one in two ways. First, you want to be focusing on your healing micro, so you want to take monstrosity. Secondly, you take
. The slow is actually incredibly relevant. All supports have some kind of CC, and taking
gives Abathur a means to create opportunities for his allies by giving them that CC. It takes some planning, but you can make or break team fights with it, and it's undervalued.
If your team does not have a tank: Top
Here, your goal shifts. Now, instead of supporting the team, you want to be working towards positioning your monstrosity such that it has 30 stacks and, at the very least, arrives at every team fight, preferably early.
Regenerative Microbes is almost entirely necessary if you intend to bring monstrosity to team fights, because it needs to heal up after getting its stacks, hopefully out of danger. The main difference for this build is that you take
. This gives you a lot of extra push, which helps you build monstrosity stacks much faster. You need
for disengage, engage, and getting to team fights in a reasonably timely manner.
Furthermore, if you take
, you can shield your monstrosity and its minion wave while it feeds and also be present in lane and team fights where they erupt. It is very important to keep an eye on it. It is very easy for a single hero to burst down a mindless monstrosity. Always try to be there. If you don't have a tank, consider monstrosity the most important thing on the team except for your physical body.
One very interesting note about
: After the first time that you use monstrosity after getting Evolution Complete, your monstrosity will spawn with 15 stacks, but none of the health from the stacks. This is very relevant, and not noted anywhere in the tooltip. You also need to exit monstrosity's symbiote and re-enter it in order to use its z, which is annoying, and will probably never be fixed. However, taking
lets you save your monstrosity often, as well as have it arrive in every team fight.
Positioning for monstrosity entering combat is very important. You want it to suddenly and inexplicably erupt underneath of the squishiest character on the enemy team that you have vision of and then pick that character with utter disregard for its own life. Then, after that thing is dead, you want to gauge the situation. If you can escape with the speed on shield, do so, and do some poking on the way out. Ideally you want to hound the enemy until they're worn down, and then burst them down with auto-attacks. Most enemies underestimate a 30-stack monstrosity. It only takes a few seconds to kill pretty much anyone, and you can, for example, out-damage Illidan's sustain, even through first aid, as long as you have about 30 percent health and you disengage while he is evading.
Push Abathur Top
Before you commit to playing push Abathur, make sure that there is not a
on the enemy team. If
is present, you don't play push Abathur, because you lose automatically, 100 percent of the time. Black arrow doesn't disable monstrosity, and you can still poke her, but her push is monstrous, and having a minion ball while
is prevalent in the meta is bad.
However, if you think that you can get away with it, then you should actively push. However, don't limit yourself to one lane. Remember, Abathur is meant to be played as a guerrilla fighter. You want to be on the path of least resistance, and, as soon as someone is there to contest you, if you cannot defeat them, leave, and push something else.
One thing that I see a lot of people do wrong as push Abathur is that they will simply push a single lane. This is incorrect. The most powerful thing that you can do as push Abathur is to use your passive and locust brood to secure mercenary camps. If you bring monstrosity, you can also take bruiser camps. The key is to keep your body close enough such that your passive will join the fight when it shows up, and to engage after using Locust Brood by auto attacking before your locusts run to lane. If you can get into cover while you do this, quickly do it, and then push with your symbiote. It is very difficult to get monstrosity to work for you concurrently. The trick is force its pathing to go through the camp as you start. This requires an understanding of pathing and positioning. However, it is possible for Abathur to take both bruisers and siege after level 16, and you absolutely should do so. Abathur symbioting mercenaries is one of the most powerful things you can do as Abathur, because it makes it very difficult for single enemies to successfully contest those mercenaries, or for a minion wave to whittle down the health of the mercenaries. A set of siege giants that goes uncontested for an extended period of time will eventually destroy the core. The best part is that the enemy team can't see that they are being supported. Again, that is the strength of Abathur. He acts in a way that the enemy team cannot see.
In conclusion Top
Thank you for tuning in to my guide. I hope that you feel you have learned something from the experience, and if there's anything you would suggest to improve it, let me know. Thanks!